Liberty, Equality, Tradition, and Marriage: a modest title

Marriage isn’t really one of my issues, and as HPR’s libertarian-in-residence (though I’d proudly call myself an American reactionary) the entire gay marriage debacle is not one of my priorities. There are a couple things I’d like to point out in response to the post below, first being the grotesque confusion of liberty and equality that occurs in calling the lack of a State imprimatur on your relationship “antithetical to liberty.”
Other than that, I’d second Sam’s rebuttals while questioning the argument; the reason Franck ends up looking silly is that most conservative argumentation today is divorced from any roots of actual epistemic conservatism or humility, instead making sweeping universalist arguments about marriage and its true nature which are silly. In my mind, the better way conservatives have to frame the argument against gay marriage is that it is a radical change, that while rationally watertight, upends a boatload of indubitably irrational but organic cultural associations marriage has. And when one looks back over each change made to the family by government action in the postwar era (expansion of welfare and concomitant legitimization of unwed motherhood, legitimization and expedition of divorce), the result has been fewer marriages, more dysfunctional families, etc.
Hip urban chaps and chapesses like us have little problem with the changes (see Brooks, David, much as he irks me most of the time) but there is a reason there is so much instinctual Volkisch-reaction against any changes. It’s among the masses that divorce, illegitimacy, and social disruption skyrocket (see Salam, Reihan and Douthat, Ross).
What the heck does all this meandering mean? I’m in favor of total divorce of marriage and state and as many kinds of marriage as people wanted. But that’s unlikely to say the least, and in practical terms the crucial forces of demographics are already making gay marriage something inevitable, as interracial marriage was. And I’m favor of it coming to exist, but I think the answer is to allow for less cultural Jacobinism and more decentralized and locally produced answers to the issue, which put as little government force as possible behind enforcing gay marriage on society (e.g. don’t touch churches, civil society); too much of the current gay-marriage drive actually does consist of a Newsomite eagerness at driving the machinery of the state right over tradition.

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